Carolina Panthers v Los Angeles Rams
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Good morning to everyone but especially to…


One of the best skill position groups in the NFL just got better. Historically better, in fact. Christian McCaffrey is headed to the 49ers in one of the biggest running back trades in recent memory.

49ers receive:

  • Christian McCaffrey

Panthers receive:

  • 2023 second-round pick
  • 2023 third-round pick
  • 2023 fourth-round pick
  • 2024 fifth-round pick

It can be easy to forget just how amazing McCaffrey is, given his injury history and the Panthers’ abysmal play, but here’s a taste:

  • Only player in NFL history to average 50 rushing yards per game and 50 receiving yards per game for his career
  • Fastest player in NFL history to reach 3,000 rushing yards and 3,000 receiving yards
  • One of three players to have 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a season (in 2019)
  • 670 scrimmage yards this year, fourth in NFL

Oh, and did I mention McCaffrey is under contract through 2025? That means he, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle are all tied to the organization for at least the next three seasons.

Despite giving up such a talent, the Panthers earned an A- in NFL expert Josh Edwards’ trade grades (better than the B- the 49ers were given).

  • Edwards: “It is hard to call the team parting with a player as talented as McCaffrey a winner, but that is the case for Carolina… Carolina now has ample draft capital to be aggressive. The Panthers hold their original picks in Rounds 1, 2, 4 and 5 so the haul from the Bay Area will be added to that pile.”

One final thing: A big part of what allowed the 49ers to do this deal is six compensatory picks thanks to the departures of former coordinators Robert Saleh (Jets head coach), Mike McDaniel (Dolphins head coach) and former VP of player personnel Martin Mayhew (Commanders GM).

San Francisco’s ability to identify and develop coaching/front-office talent is an understated part of their organizational strength, and now they have a star to show for it. Oh, and yes, we have the fantasy football impact as well.


The Cardinals got their superstar wide receiver back, and now they might be on their way to getting their offense back on track, too. DeAndre Hopkins made his season debut and the Arizona defense had two pick-sixes in a 42-34 win over the Saints.

First and foremost, the game gave us this excellent photo:


Ok, back to what happened on the field.

  • Hopkins had 10 catches for 103 yards. Of Kyler Murray‘s 29 passes, 14 went in Hopkins’ direction.
  • Marco Wilson and Isaiah Simmons both had a pick-six late in the first half. The Cardinals became the first team to have two pick-sixes in the first half since 2018, when the Broncos did it against the Cardinals.
  • Eno Benjamin had 113 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.

Since Hopkins arrived in 2020, the Cardinals are 17-10 when he plays and 5-9 when he doesn’t, playoffs included. Last night showed why.

Honorable mentions

And not such a good morning for…

Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Two

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The Astros are two wins from their fourth World Series trip in six years, and if the Yankees‘ offense doesn’t wake up, it might only take two more games. Houston took a 2-0 lead in the ALCS with a 3-2 win Thursday.

  • Alex Bregman hit a three-run home run with two outs and two strikes in the third inning to account for all of Houston’s runs.
  • Framber Valdez went seven innings, allowing just two runs on four hits and striking out nine. Bryan Abreu and Ryan Pressly each delivered a scoreless inning of relief.
  • Since 2017, the Astros are 6-1 against the Yankees in playoff games decided by two or fewer runs, including 2-0 in this series.

Obviously credit the Astros… but the Yankees’ offense has been mind-bogglingly bad.

  • 9-for-65 (.138) batting average this series
  • 30 strikeouts, tied for fourth-most ever in any two-game stretch in a Championship Series
  • Nine straight games with six or fewer hits, the longest streak in franchise history
  • Aaron Judge is hitting .179 this postseason. Giancarlo Stanton is at .167. Gleyber Torres is at .148.

The Yankees haven’t come back from a 2-0 deficit in a seven game series since the 1996 World Series against the Braves. Unless the bats come alive, that won’t change.

Not so honorable mentions

Expert NFL picks for Week 7: Can Giants, Jets keep it going? 🏈


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The Giants and the Jets have unexpectedly combined for a 9-3 record this season and climbed into the top 10 of Pete Prisco’s Power Rankings. They’re certainly feel-good stories so far, but they’re determined to prove they’re more than just that. Can they keep it up this weekend? The Giants take on the Jaguars in Jacksonville, and here’s Pete’s pick:

  • Prisco: “The Jaguars are favored over a 5-1 team. That seems weird. But Jacksonville could easily be 4-2 rather than 2-4. The Giants have won by running the ball and playing good defense. The Jaguars have pass-defense issues, which doesn’t play into the Giants attack. Look for Jacksonville to beat the Giants. The oddsmakers have it right. Pick: Jaguars 24, Giants 20

Meanwhile, the best way to continue a hot start is to avoid pitfalls, which is exactly what the Jets will have to do against the struggling Broncos. Here’s John Breech’s prediction:

  • Breech: “This game feels like it’s going to be a low-scoring slugfest and when I’m picking the winner in a low-scoring slugfest, I like to take the team with the better defense, so surprisingly, I’m going with Denver here. The Broncos are going to be desperate, their season is on the line and if they don’t win, we might see a full-on implosion. The pick: Broncos 20-16 over Jets

Here are all of our experts’ picks:

Pete Prisco | John Breech | Will BrinsonTyler Sullivan

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CBS Sports

Week 7 in upon us in the NFL. Watch all of your local games this weekend on CBS with Paramount+.

Introducing the CBS Sports Preseason All-America teams 🏀


Graphic by Keytron Jordan

I know we just finished a Sports Equinox, but things aren’t slowing down: Men’s college basketball is just over two weeks away, and the CBS Sports Preseason All-America teams have arrived, as voted on by our excellent team of writers, analysts and broadcasters.

Here’s the first team:

  • Gonzaga F Drew Timme
  • Kentucky F Oscar Tshiebwe
  • North Carolina F/C Armando Bacot
  • Houston G Marcus Sasser
  • UCLA G/F Jaime Jaquez

Expect some historic numbers again from Tshiebwe, writes college basketball reporter Matt Norlander.

  • Norlander: “Tshiebwe was the first Kentucky player in program history to sweep every major NPOY award, doing so by becoming the first player in more than four decades to average more than 15.0 points and 15.0 rebounds. Tshiebwe’s line: 17.4 points, 15.1 rebounds, 1.6 blocks on 60.6% shooting. Winning a national player of the year award in back-to-back seasons is a rarity. If Tshiebwe can do it, he’ll be the first in men’s basketball since Virginia‘s Ralph Sampson three-peated in the early ’80s.”

For full analysis as well as the second and third teams, click here.

NHL releases Reverse Retro jerseys: Who understood the assignment? 🏒


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I’ve been writing this newsletter for nearly one year, and here’s one thing you may not know about me: I love alternate jerseys.

Now, I didn’t say I love all alternate jerseys. I don’t. But I love teams switching it up every once in a while, and when they do it well, it is awesome.

The NHL released its newest Reverse Retro jerseys Thursday, and there were some absolute beauties if I do say so myself. Our NHL expert Austin Nivision reviewed every single one, and I think he nailed it with the Rangers.

  • Nivison: “The Lady Liberty jerseys are some of my favorite alternates in NHL history. The Rangers went that route on their first Reverse Retro jersey, but they kind of messed it up by going with dark navy all over, except for three stripes on the arm. This time, they brightened up the blue and used more red in the sleeves, and they hit a home run.”

Be sure to check out Austin’s rankings — The Good, The Bad and The Ugly — right here.

What we’re watching this weekend 📺

We’re watching Serie A on Paramount+ all weekend long.


🏀 Celtics at Heat, 7:30 p.m. on ESPN
Padres at Phillies, 7:37 p.m. on FS1
🏈 UAB at Western Kentucky, 8 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
🏀 Nuggets at Warriors, 10 p.m. on ESPN


🏈 No. 14 Syracuse at No. 5 Clemson, Noon on ABC
🏈 No. 9 UCLA at No. 10 Oregon, 3:30 p.m. on FOX
🏈 No. 20 Texas at No. 11 Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m. on ABC
Astros at Yankees, 5:07 p.m. on TBS
🏈 No. 24 Mississippi State at No. 6 Alabama, 7 p.m. on ESPN
Padres at Phillies, 7:45 p.m. on FOX
🏈 No. 17 Kansas State at No. 8 TCU, 8 p.m. on FS1
🏀 Grizzlies at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. on NBA TV


🏈 Here’s the Week 7 NFL schedule.
Padres at Phillies, 2:37 p.m. on FS1
Thorns vs. Wave, 5 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
Astros at Yankees, 7:07 p.m. on TBS
Reign vs. Current, 7:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
🏀 Suns at Clippers, 10 p.m. on NBA TV